Wale paces round the reception of the hospital restlessly. Many thoughts run through his mind. “Who could have done this?” “I shouldn’t have left her alone at home”. “Why didn’t I get home earlier?” Worry lines are etched deeply into his face as he punches his left palm in anger. Sola who is seated isn’t any better. He checks his wrist watch intermittently and looks towards the door where Kunbi was wheeled through some minutes ago. Time seems to tick slowly and he shifts in his seat uncomfortably.
After a long wait, the doctor walks into the reception and asks them to follow him into his office. Sola jumps to his feet as Wale takes long strides after the doctor. The doctor offers both of them seats in his office but they both decline.
“How is she?” Wale asks anxiously.
“Is she okay? Can we see her?” Sola asks.
“Take it easy, gentlemen. There is no reason to be worried. She’s okay”.
“Can we see her now then?” Sola asks again.
“She has been moderately sedated as she’s traumatized and needs to rest”. The doctor answers.
“How bad are the injuries?” Wale asks with a frown on his face.
“Nothing life threatening. She has been placed on pain killers”.
“She would be fine. I assure you”. The doctor says smiling. “If you don’t mind, please excuse me”. The doctor walks out of his office as Wale and Sola share a look of resignation. As they both walk back to the reception, Wale asks; “Any ideas on the culprit?”
“None”. Sola responds lost in thought. “I am still baffled, though”.
“How do you mean?”
“This is premeditated. I had just left the house probably fifteen minutes before when I realized I had forgotten my phone and turned back”.
“I swear if I get my hands on whoever it is, I’ll design his face worse than he did hers”. Wale says fuming.
“Could the person have been hanging around and waiting for me to leave? So much damage in just about fifteen to twenty minutes?” Sola says talking to himself.
“I have a bad feeling about this”.
Sola looks at Wale confused.
“My instincts tell me it could have been Ola”.
“Wale! How can you say that? You’re taking your dislike for this guy too far”. Sola says in amazement.
“I know what I’m saying”. Wale insists.
“C’mon. How can Ola do this to Kunbi? You had better not let her hear this. She’s going to be really mad at you this time”.
“You don’t know this guy. He’s such a jealous and insecure animal. He manhandled her once simply because you called her while she was with him”.
“But that was some time ago”. Sola says.
“This is not out of place for him to do. And be certain, if I find out from Kunbi that he’s responsible, hmmmm…..he’s a dead man”. Wale says in anger.
Sola pats his friend on the back. “Take it easy, man. Let’s just pray she is okay”.
Wale nods as he relaxes. “Yeah, that’s most important right now. Thanks for your help. I really appreciate it”.
“Hey, what are we friends for?” Sola says as he nudges him.
“I think you should go on to your girlfriend’s. Since the doctor says she needs to rest, there’s really nothing to be done here”.
“I’ll get here early tomorrow to be with her in case she needs anything. Hopefully, she should be discharged soon”.
“I’ll meet you here tomorrow then. Please take care of her”.
“Thanks a lot. I appreciate your concern”.
Sola walks into the hospital premises at 5.00pm the next day. His shirt has been rolled up while the knot of his tie has been loosened. He stops at the reception to ask for Kunbi’s room and he is directed. As he gets to her room, he taps on the door gently, opens it slightly and peeps in. “Can I come in?” He asks when he sees Wale sitting on the bed and talking earnestly with Kunbi.
“Of course, you can”. Wale answers.
“How are you beauty?” Sola says as he walks to the other side of the bed and gives her a light kiss on the cheek.
“I’m better, thanks”. Kunbi responds as she uses her hands to cover her face.
Wale gives Sola a cursory glance as he raises his brow.
Sola shrugs as he also wonders.
“I am sorry you are seeing me this way”. Kunbi says hiding behind her hands.
“Okay?” Wale acknowledges. “This is definitely for Sola”.
“I carried you in my arms while you were unconscious, so you don’t need to hide behind your hands”. Sola says smiling as he removes her hands from her face. “So, who did this to you?”
“Good question. Maybe she’ll tell you. She has refused to tell me the bastard who did this”.
“Wales, take it easy. I’ll tell you at the right time”. Kunbi says with pleading eyes.
“Right time? What other time is right besides now? Ehn, tell me. What other time?” He asks standing up from the bed in anger.
“Wale, I think you should listen to her. She’s probably right”. Sola says.
“I know I’m right”.
“Kunbi, you can take as long as you want. Whether now or later, be rest assured that whoever did this will pay for it”.
Kunbi tries to sit up but winces as she feels pain. “Wales, I think you should go home and rest. You need it. You are stressed already”. She strains as she tries to lie back.
Wale and Sola both rush to assist her in laying back.
“Okay, Kunbi. I will let go for now”. Wale says. “I need you to get better and come home. That is most important”.
“I’m really tired. Sola will keep you company. I need to go home now”. He says yawning.
“When am I leaving here? I’m missing home already”. Kunbi asks.
“The doctor said you’ll be discharged tomorrow; so I’ll pick you up at about noon”. He hugs her gently so as not to cause her any more pain. “Take care darling”.
“Goodnight”. She says smiling.
“You are free to take over from here”. Wale says to Sola.
Sola smiles and shrugs. “You bet I will”.
As Wale walks out of the room, Sola sits down on the lone chair beside Kunbi. He holds her hand and asks; “Don’t tell me he did this to you?”
Kunbi looks at him with surprise. “Who did?”
“C’mon Kunbi. Why did you refuse to tell him if it wasn’t Ola?”
“You’re right. It’s Ola”. She says sighing.
“My goodness”. Sola gasps.
“Wales would not mind travelling to Ibadan this night and he won’t leave Ola until he’s probably confirmed dead. I am not ready to turn my cousin into a murderer”.
“Yeah. I feel you. I know Wale cares about you but he will still get to know one way or the other”.
“Not if you don’t tell him”.
“Why would I? It won’t be long for him to figure it out, though. He mentioned that his instincts told him Ola was responsible”.
“You see why he should not get to know yet. Besides, Ola would be nursing his wounds as well”. She says smiling.
“His wounds?” Sola asks confused.
“Yes, didn’t you guys notice the broken flower vase?”
“We did but we thought it was a victim of the struggle”.
“Well, it was a victim but I used it on Ola’s head when it seemed he was going to kill me”.
“Really? You are a strong woman and you thought very fast even in that situation”. Sola says smiling.
“Yeah, I had to. If I hadn’t, you would have found me dead”.
“God forbid. I can’t stand loosing you”.
Kunbi gently removes her hands from Sola’s hands and looks away. “So, how is your girlfriend?” She asks changing the topic.
“She’s fine”. Sola says frowning.
Kunbi notices the excitement in his voice is gone and turns back to look at him. “When do I get to meet her or are you still hiding her from our prying eyes?” She asks smiling.
“No, I’m not hiding her. The doctor is discharging you tomorrow, right? He asks.
“Are you intentionally changing the topic?” She looks at him curiously.
“No, I am not”.
“What are you hiding, Sola?”
“I am not hiding anything”. He says as he stands up and turns his back to Kunbi.
“Then why are you avoiding my questions”.
“It is rather unfortunate that you may never get to meet her”.
“Why? What happened? What did you do to her?” Kunbi asks anxious.
Sola shrugs. “Nothing”.
“What do you mean by nothing? Sola, look at me. What happened? Please tell me”. Kunbi says as she winces in pain trying to lift herself up.
Sola takes a deep breath as he rushes to her side and props her up with a pillow. “I don’t know where I went wrong. I told you I wanted to give her a surprise visit, right?” He says looking at her.
“Yes, I remember you said so”.
“Well, I got to her apartment and got the shock of my life”. Sola says as he replays the event of the previous day in his mind.
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